Television is fascinated by monastic life – or rather, the reactions of ordinary people to living in a monastery.
Today the radio provided a different spin on this theme. A Dominican friar joined a public relations consultancy – Shine PR – in Radio 4’s The Real World. This short programme played on the contrasting lifestyles: twentysomething consumerism meets vows of ‘poverty, chastity and obedience’. It was never going to be a comfortable mix.
Friar Tim was a highly intelligent commentator. On arriving at the consultancy he mentioned his brand of ‘one word equity’: veritas (truth). He seemed more aware of the similarities between their lines of work than his hosts. He preaches the word, he knows his congregation (and attracts large numbers to services), he readily debates ethical issues. The key difference is that he’s not commercially focused. In reality, not all public relations is the brand of marketing communications practiced by this consultancy. But it made for good radio.